Fr James Yeo, the rector of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore, has released the following announcement:
As from the first semester of 2016, the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary and the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS) will share a common academic programme. This means that the seminarians will study at CTIS, having laypeople as their classmates.
While this is commonly the case in other dioceses, it is a first in our archdiocese. In other dioceses, it is normal that diocesan and Religious seminarians attend lectures at an academic institution while having the other aspects of priestly formation done in-house.
The St Francis Xavier Major Seminary will still be responsible for the formation of our future priests, notwithstanding the fact that the seminarians will now study at CTIS.
Archbishop William Goh has emphasised that nothing should be compromised in the academic formation of our seminarians. In fact, CTIS has developed its new curriculum based on the Baccalaureate-in-Theology Programme (STB) which the seminary is currently offering to our seminarians. Laypeople will be offered parts of this STB programme for the Certificate and Diploma level.
For the time being, all lectures will still be conducted at CTIS premises at Waterloo Street but there are plans to relocate CTIS to another location in time to come.
There are currently 260 students pursuing the Certificate or the Diploma-in-Theology at CTIS.
The archbishop has mentioned that this change is necessary due to the tremendous cost in having the seminary function out of the present premises at 17th Avenue, Punggol.
Currently, there are only seven seminarians occupying the huge seminary complex, incurring high overheads from maintenance, depreciation and other costs of almost a million dollars a year.
By re-siting the seminary house to a smaller location, the seminary grounds can be freed up to generate income for the archdiocese.
Many have agreed and supported this decision of the archbishop as it makes more sense not just in terms of cost savings but also in reducing duplication of manpower and resources since CTIS and the seminary share the same pool of lecturers.